Facebook is testing local news and events section for local publishers


The users will get to go through local news on their go. "The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project Initiative, a program the company announced in January 2017 that seeks to build out local news partnerships, among other goals", the reports says. To make sure that the stories are relevant and authentic, Facebook will only source links from local publishers that have been manually vetted by the News Partnership team first. The "Today In" section is being tested in six cities: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y., per Recode.

Occasionally, "Today in" news will find itself popping up in your News Feed, but more commonly, "Today In" will be tucked away in the "More" section of the app, which is slightly disappointing.

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The move comes as part of Facebook's Journalism Project announced in January previous year to curb the spread of fake news on its platform and build out local news partnerships.

For those who have access to the feature, it is accessible via the menu button in the bottom-right of the main Facebook app.

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The company has tested and launched a handful of other news-related features this year as part of the effort, including a breaking news label for publishers and a label identifying stories disputed by outside fact-checkers. There was a charge being circulated against Facebook that during the election season, a so-called fake news doing rounds on the social network was partially responsible for Donald Trump's unexpected victory, and so the tech giant was partly to blame for it.

But, the question that cuts through is will this section benefit the local publishers, or not?

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According to a report by TechCrunch, Facebook is calling this feature "Today In" and testing it in select markets. The users will then also be able to follow the cities that they do not now live in, like childhood hometown.